On Water: A Photographer’s Life in the Colorado River Basin

On Water: A Photographer’s Life in the Colorado River Basin — 2020

Location: Flo Mlynarczyk Gallery

Curator: Aaron Mayes

 

Turquoise waters swirl around red boulders carved along the Little Colorado’s path through the Grand Canyon, as its famed majestic cliffs rise thousands of feet above. A lone sailboat skims across a glimmering Lake Mead, dwarfed by the vast mountains bordering the reservoir. Water cascades over the Theodore Roosevelt Dam spillways thundering downstream. For decades local photographer Gene Hertzog captured images of the Colorado River Basin’s natural and man-made landscapes providing a unique perspective on water in our region. His photographs document the beauty and grandness of an arid landscape dominated by the need for water and man’s efforts to control and enjoy the resource.


Born in 1932 in Oak Park, Illinois, Hertzog began his photographic career while in the Army, spending six of his nine years stationed in Japan. It was there, working as a military photographer, that Hertzog honed his craft. After his service, he joined the Bureau of Reclamation in Washington State, and in 1963 got his dream job as a photographer and videographer with the Bureau based in Boulder City. For the next 31 years, he would travel the Colorado documenting its natural beauty and the dams built to harness its power.

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